Magnetic Yellow Card - cyclist-intervention


This card was designed by Peter Miller as an alternative to the kicking-of-doors and yelling-and-screaming that usually goes on when someone in a car recklessly endangers the life of a cyclist because they were talking on their phone, putting on lipstick, passing another car in the bike lane, etc etc etc. It's a more subtle statement, but I think more effective. Peter has provided a PDF of the card to allow others to print it out on a magnet of their choice and distribute them as needed. [Thanks to TOLA for noticing it.]


  1. This is a joke, right? I’m supposed to have a stack of these on my handlebars, ready to throw on the cars that cut me off? And throwing something at a guy’s car isn’t going to make him back up to take another run at me?

  2. A friend of mine got a stack of (1000?) of these printed up on magnetic business cards, with a slightly altered wording:

    “This magnet was tossed onto your car by a cyclist who felt that you had been driving in a way that could endanger their life.

    They chose to toss this magnetic note because it can neither damage your automobile, nor will it disrupt your driving. It serves as our communication in a world buffered by steel, glass, and speed.

    With mutual respect, we can each adjust our behavior to allow all people to live in safety.

    This ia a yellow card, your awareness can keep us out of the Red.”

  3. Now if only there were some way to remind cyclists of how rude and hazardous they generally are to pedestrians…

    1. “This adhesive not was tossed onto your back by a pedestrian who felt that you might have been riding in a way that could have endangered their life….”

    2. A few are, but it’s not “general.”

      And it’s an odd thing: I know MANY MORE pedestrians and drivers than I know cyclists.

      Yet I’ve never known a pedestrian who was seriously hurt by a cyclist, and I’ve never known a driver who was seriously hurt by a cyclist. Bu I have known many cyclists hurt by drivers, and a couple that I’ve known have been KILLED by drivers.

      The clear inference: among pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists, there is only one combination that *frequently* results in injury or death: drivers v. cyclists.

  4. How about all the cyclists who run through stop signs, red lights, go wrong way down one-way roads, etc? I see more dangerous cyclists (ironically wearing helmets, yet repeatedly driving recklessly) than dangerous motorists, and that’s saying something.

    How many red lights and stop signs does Peter Miller run on a regular basis?

    1. Unfortunately, since bicycles are readily available and no one receives much of an education about bike laws (pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike) and bike safety (aside from MAYBE a bit in Elementary school), there are cyclists who either knowingly or unknowingly break the law. Although, for every cyclist who breaks the law, there is also a pedestrian and also a motorist. We live in a country of me, me, me as opposed to we, he, she.

  5. I need to come up with the pedestrian equivalent response for cyclists. Living in Manhattan I have way more close calls with reckless cyclists than I do with drivers.

    A stick in the spokes might do…

    1. Likewise, a cyclist equivalent response for pedestrians. Biking in Manhattan, dodging jaywalkers between cars in traffic, avoiding walkers in the bike lane, and braking for people not looking for bikes when cross – instead listening for cars…

  6. HUGE fan of this. I’ve often thought of making window stickies (that plastic cling stuff) to slap on someones window right after they recklessly meander into the cycling lane.

    And Drang, I often times catch back up to people that do dangerous stuff on the road. It beats that awkward conversation where you ask them politely to try not to kill you next time while trying to keep your rage down.

  7. Precisely, Pantograph. But then, “passive-agressive, pedantic and smug” is generally descriptive of most bicyclists (particularly in places like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco…or my hometown, Boulder).

    Let’s see how these self-important wankers feel about me throwing things onto their bikes.

  8. In my downtown commute, I’ve seen plenty of cyclists on the roads, and drivers invariably have been courteous to them from my experience. Unfortunately, my experience is also that over half of all cyclists on the road are rude, unobservant dangerous twits that have little to no intention of following the laws of the road. I know that’s probably not accurate national sample, but damn, come on…

  9. Gosh, it’s nice to see someone finally challenging the impression that bicyclists are a bunch of self-righteous, passive-aggressive, douches.

  10. Is there one for cyclists that blow through stop signs or weave in and out of busy traffic, to say nothing of those who refuse to ride in designated bike paths, choosing instead to ride along higher-speed multilane roads? Or those who avoid bike lanes and instead dawdle their way along mid-lane, blocking roads?

  11. Classic cyclists, it is hard for me to keep fighting for their rights when they themselves refuse to follow the same rules/laws they get upset about motorists ignoring. The street goes both ways.

  12. I am regularly appalled by how many of my fellow biking comrades are gross hypocrites when it comes to “share the road”. They will yell and whine about unsafe vehicle drivers, all the while constantly running stop signs (and even red lights!), intimidate pedestrians and ignore posted speed limits at their convenience. And I don’t just mean a few of them – I mean *most* of them. I’ve ridden with many large groups in both SF and LA and they all seems to have double-standards about this, as well this kind of self-righteousness smugness / victim-hood attitude that serves as a form of cultural/tribal self-identity. Yes, vehicle drivers can be inconsiderate and dangerous to bikers and peds alike, but I suspect the vast majority of this is due to roads / intersections being designed for vehicle traffic efficiency with everyone as an afterthought. We need to address this at the civil/legal level, and not by flipping off drivers who honk when we breeze through a stop sign.

  13. Welp… Guess THIS idea isn’t going to do anything to end the war between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

    Some people are jerks… no matter which mode of transportation they chose.

  14. That’s not even funny. It might encourage someone to actually do this. There’s plenty of folks who would—feeling disrespected—then run down the cyclist and kill him. Or pull out a handgun and shoot him. Not funny.

    Irresponsible to post this at all.

  15. Is this the thread where we bitch about cyclists? Because as I was riding my bike along a path years ago, some guy turned off the street and right into me making me slam on the brakes and put my foot down. He apologized, but goddamn it I hate those smug hippie bastards.

  16. As a seasonal bike commuter, I understand the anger when someone do cut you off with a car. But at the same time, experiencing the wrong side of stupidity like critical mass and witnessing constant violation of traffic rules by cyclists, I can’t help but feel whoever feels entitled to preach to others like this is just a bunch of passive-aggressive jerks.

    Call the police – I know sometimes they don’t do anything, but sometimes they DO act on it, and it’s the one of the few ways to take the dangerous drivers off the road.

  17. +1 to everyone who said they are loosing respect for the cyclists when the majority of the ones they see don’t follow those pesky automobile rules of the road…

    ie: The rules of the road apply to anything on it, not just the pieces of machinery big enough to kill you.

  18. Tamooj: “Yes, vehicle drivers can be inconsiderate and dangerous to bikers and peds alike, but I suspect the vast majority of this is due to roads / intersections being designed for vehicle traffic efficiency with everyone as an afterthought.”

    Pedestrians jaywalk to get across the street quickly.

    I safely blow stops signs because if I didn’t it would take me twice as long to get to work. I stop at most red lights but some don’t make sense for a cyclist.

    Where is a cyclist supposed to go when their lane magically disappears?

    1. Pedestrians jaywalking should not expect vehicles to stop. They only have right-of-way when crossing intersections or at marked crossings.

      Cyclists has to obey traffic rules like cars, including stop signs. Hey, I would also get to my work faster if I ran red lights – but I have no right to endanger other people’s lives and properties: same goes for bikes. Cops do give out ticket for cyclists running red light and stop signs, as well they should!

      Bike lane is a convenience. When a car passes you by, it needs to give plenty of space. AFAIK, having two vehicles in the same lane is not illegal.

    2. “I safely blow stops signs because if I didn’t it would take me twice as long to get to work.”

      You don’t get to “safely” “blow stop signs”, it’s inherently UNSAFE. You are exactly the smug asshole everybody is talking about. Since when is your opinion higher than everybody else who has to legally stop at the stop sign!? I’d like to see you explain that one to a cop or a judge. It takes you twice as long to get to work because you are CHOOSING a slower, less efficient form of transportation. The fact you have to break the law proves it. Stop whining, get on the bus or subway.

      “I stop at most red lights but some don’t make sense for a cyclist.”

      You don’t get to choose. “Sorry officer, that red light didn’t make sense for my Honda Civic, I’m sure you understand”.

    3. Ah, nice one Mr Cyclist.
      You consider some of the rules don’t seem to make sense so you ignore them?
      Ever consider that some drivers might think bike lanes, for instance, don’t make sense, so they might choose to ignore them?
      It’s generally better for all of us if we follow the consensus that says road laws and road signs don’t have an “unless you think otherwise” option.

  19. I want one of these that can kill an engine. actually, I’d like to just have a laser target designator and an air strike/artillery strike on call, but I’d settle for one of these that could deactivate an engine in some way, I’m not suggesting explosives but I’m not turning my nose up at them either.

  20. I’m losing track of the conventional wisdom, here. Is it obvious to everyone that cyclers are smug and passive-aggressive? Or is it obvious to everyone that car drivers are so psychopathic that they’ll murder a person just for harmlessly putting a magnet on their car? If both, which is worse?

    1. All of the above?

      I bike, I drive, I ride the bus, the El, and walk around too. In all the ways I commute I try my best to be a respectful and polite person.

      The notion of handing out personal demerits to people is just silly, regardless of whether you’re on two wheels, four, or on foot.

  21. In car vs bike accidents, cyclists often end up in the hospital or dead, and the people in cars end up 5 minutes late for wherever they were going. Yet it’s amusing to see how anytime someone suggests that people in cars should be a little more careful how many people just out of the woodwork advocating people actual injury and death to people. “Oh one time there was a cyclists who didn’t stop at a stop sign so all you other cyclists should be killed because I assume you must have the exact same attitude as the stop sign guy because you choose the same method of transportation and/or exercise.” Did I say amusing? I meant disgusting.

    1. Sean, respectfully, I think that your statements here are a bit pejorative.

      I’m not saying that bike vs car accidents aren’t far more serious for the cyclist, that’s without question. But in how many of these cases did the cyclists behavior (not stopping at signs or lights, riding too fast or weaving in traffic) contribute to the accident? I don’t know those statistics, so I wouldn’t make that statement.

      Speaking as someone who has been “doored” while on my bike and also had the sheer panic of a cyclist blowing a red light as I was crossing an intersection, I think everyone on the road needs to be more mindful. Tagging people’s vehicles with vague demerit cards is not the way to go about this.

      1. “Tagging people’s vehicles with vague demerit cards is not the way to go about this. ”

        These cards are offered as an alternative to kicking cars or denting them with bike locks, which is the more common reaction to almost getting hit. Perhaps you think that is a better approach?

        1. I don’t think those are the only options actually.

          Here in Chicago we have the Active Transportation Alliance ( which works to promote cycling as well as works with commuters of all stripes to create safer roads.

          I think more effective policing is in order. Both of cyclists and of drivers. Again, in Chicago our Mayor, who is a huge cycling advocate, has helped push for stronger penalties for drivers involved in altercations with cyclists.

          NYC has added 200 miles of bike lanes in the past three years, and seen huge growth in cycling.

          I’m an advocate for positive action, not deepening divisions. I don’t believe these magnets will do anything to make the roads safer and may, sadly, only make drivers less supportive of road-sharing.

  22. I have a home in Portland,Oregon…one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. The result? Such bi-pedal arrogance it’s difficult to deal with. Pedestrians are routinely mowed down by angry, rude bicycle commuters who somehow feel empowered by their choice of transportation. On the other hand, Amsterdam, the most bicycle-friendly city on the planet, has got it just right. Special bike lanes with curbs on both sides, designated pedestrian cross-walks at regular intervals, and a much more courteous & orderly style of bike-riding. What’s up with angry Americans, anyway?

  23. I think cyclists should have to take a rules of the road test before getting on a bicycle, I’ve travelled by bike and on foot for the last 13 years in downtown Toronto, and I see cyclist (and cars AND pedestrians) do crazy shite all the time!

    It’s a zoo out there, but cyclists shouldn’t be HATED by people in cars or people walking down the street….somethings wrong.

    People are uneducated or trying to make do with a system that has yet to catch up with the current trends of its citizenry. I don’t think we need bike lanes on every street, why can’t we have a designated bike route that moves throughout the city? Why can anyone get on a bike without learning the rules of the road? Aren’t they riding on the same pavement that a vehicle drive on? don’t people in cars have to have licences?

    Its backwards, and makes me think the people in charge aren’t thinking with heads but with their bottoms.

  24. I totally agree with Pantograph: “Passive-aggressive, pedantic and smug. Terrible.” What makes it even more abrasive is my observation that the majority of cyclists I encounter don’t seem to realize that they ARE NOT PEDESTRIANS WITH WHEELS. They are a vehicle, and subject to the same rules as all other vehicles (at least where I live). They don’t have the right to push the crosswalk button and then RIDE their bikes across. I get off of mine and walk it across, since it is a pedestrian crosswalk, and there is a fine for riding a bicycle through it. They don’t have the right to cruise down the white line separating the bike lane from the car lane, they don’t have the right to just cruise through a stop sign because they don’t feel like stopping, and they don’t have the right to ride on the sidewalk and terrorize the real pedestrians. These obnoxious cyclists need to drop the ‘tude and start playing by the rules, or the rest of us that ride will most likely continue to be ignored, harassed and, yes, run over. And just for the record, I do ride a bike in city traffic. It’s one of ways I get to and from work. I never assume that I’m some sort of sacred pedestrian, I know and follow the rules, I watch the traffic around me, and in over 15 years I’ve never had an altercation with a car.

    1. They don’t have the right to cruise down the white line separating the bike lane from the car lane

      The rest of what you say I agree with completely, but in some localities lane-splitting is explicitly legal.

    2. You know how I know you’re lying? You said this, “And just for the record, I do ride a bike in city traffic. It’s one of ways I get to and from work. I never assume that I’m some sort of sacred pedestrian, I know and follow the rules, I watch the traffic around me, and in over 15 years I’ve never had an altercation with a car.”

      In 15 years you’ve never had an altercation with a car? Bullshit. I’ve been bike commuting for about 5 years. I’m a woman in my mid-thirties, I received and A grade in drivers ed, I am painfully cautious and law abiding. I am a real safety nerd. Given this, I have some sort of heart pounding moment with a motorist at least once a week. Sometimes because the driver wasn’t paying attention, sometimes because they didn’t know how to act, and sometimes as an act of aggression. So, you claiming you’ve been a commuter for 15 years and have never had an altercation lets me know you’ve not ridden a bike since grade school.

      1. I’ve been bike commuting for about 5 years. I’m a woman in my mid-thirties, I received and A grade in drivers ed, I am painfully cautious and law abiding. I am a real safety nerd. Given this, I have some sort of heart pounding moment with a motorist at least once a week. Sometimes because the driver wasn’t paying attention, sometimes because they didn’t know how to act, and sometimes as an act of aggression.

        Exactly my point. Unless one commutes on a daily basis, one has no idea of how drivers of cars act towards bicyclists. We are definitely treated as second class citizens..and we are definitely frequent victims of the frustrations inherent in those who are consumers of car culture.

        people in cars do the darndest things to bicyclists – like deliberately passing then cutting us off when taking right turns, or passing us on 2-way roads – then pulling all the way over to the right so we can’t get a better position at lights, or get out of their cars & wait to threaten & yell, or swerve close to us as they pass while glaring angrily, or yell at us with windows down, etc. etc.

        you may consider my radical position on biking puerile, by at least I’m not exhibiting my puerility from the inside of a 2 ton rolling wad of death.

      2. I don’t think jmh_az is lying. I do ride a bike in city traffic too, but always carefully chose what route to take when I commute.

        I do have some oncoming car that do a left turn when I’m going straight, but usually I can anticipate these things because I am a driver myself and understand that bikes and motorcycles are difficult to spot.

        As for my driving skills: I have been driving for over two decades, with one speeding ticket on my record way, way back. I never speeded again and no accident since.

        1. Nope, still think he’s not being honest, and now I’ll add you to the list. My ten mile each way daily commute to work takes me through all types of city scenarios, from quite neighborhood streets to intense car centric roads to multi-use paths. I have incidents in the “carefully chosen” neighborhood streets just as I do while I’m trying to navigate through the no-mans land of freeway entrances and 50+ mph traffic.

          I also am quite adept at intuiting what drivers are going to do, I ride very defensively and prevent accidents throughout my ride. I have a high value on my life after all. I would like to know though, how I’m supposed to prevent the guy that swerves into the bike lane, lays on his horn, and flicks me off as he peels away? He’s not someone I had an incident previously, so it’s not an act of revenge. He just felt it was his right/duty/whatever to threaten my life. And I don’t care if he’s doing it because another bicyclist had just done something to piss him off. When I drive a car and another car cuts me off that doesn’t mean I’m free and clear to try and run another car off the road.

          1. Well, ok, suits me fine, because I know who I am: I’ll simply assume that you either live in a crummy neighborhood and/or you are not a courteous driver as you think you are. The guy who cut you off is definitely an asshole, but maybe you just weren’t aware that you were blocking his way earlier.

            An incidence once a week is way too much. Maybe where you live simply isn’t suited for safe bike commute, just like in some cities car commute is impossible. Unfortunately, a lot of cities in the world is like that.

          2. Ah, I was blocking his way. I hadn’t thought of that, but that totally justifies him threatening my life.

            I bike around 150-200 miles a week in a large city, one that is generally considered one of the best cycling cities in the US, though that isn’t saying much. I fully agree with you that one incident a week is far too much and I do my best to bring that to zero.

            As much as many of the commenters here state they wish there was a training and licensing requirement for cyclists (I don’t disagree with this sentiment), I wish that driving was made to be a privilege and not a right. We will give pretty much anyone a license to drive and it is damn near impossible to have that license taken away for anything more than short periods of time (with use during that time for hardship).

            A good number of people around us have difficulty tying their shoes in the morning, yet we give them the permission to operate a piece of heavy machinery with minimal supervision. It’s a bit perverse isn’t it?

    3. I totally agree with Pantograph: “Passive-aggressive, pedantic and smug. Terrible.” What makes it even more abrasive is my observation that the majority of cyclists I encounter don’t seem to realize that they ARE NOT PEDESTRIANS WITH WHEELS. They are a vehicle, and subject to the same rules as all other vehicles (at least where I live). They don’t have the right to push the crosswalk button and then RIDE their bikes across.

      They also have the same rights as a vehicle, which means that any car/truck/motor vehicle has to leave ample space for the cyclist. I never get that treatment unless I defy my own self preservation and bike in the middle of the lane, if I don’t I always get cut of or someone every month hits my elbow with their driving mirror. It hurts as fuck I tell you!

  25. Bikers who ride on the sidewalk, run lanes in moving traffic, ride against the flow of traffic and don’t use lights at night are doing the wrong thing.

    Drivers who cut off bikers, don’t give them the same right of way when passing or treat them as an equal vehicle in an exit lane are doing the wrong thing.

    There are asshole drivers on both sides. That doesn’t give anyone a valid excuse to operate a vehicle in a manner that threatens the lives of theirself or others.

  26. Writing as a 24/7/365 commuter (it was 6F when i rode across 7 miles of *ice* to work today) and a century-whoring recreational cyclist in Chicagoland, i see these cute little magnets as nicely printed invitations to an ass beating, probably mine, should i be sufficiently impolitic to actually use them as prescribed.

    God help us all when these are passed out at a Critical Mass ride.

  27. I ride a bike and I drive a car. Once I was stopped by a cop and given a ticket for running a stop sign on my bike. It was a bust intersection in the hipster shopping district. The cop invited me to watch the traffic interact with the stop sign as he wrote out the ticket.


    0 cars stopped at the stop sign.
    0 bikes stopped at the stop sign.

    So all of you, cut it out with the holier-than-thou. We’re all scofflaws, every single damn one of us.

    1. Tamooj
      I am regularly appalled by how many of my fellow biking comrades are gross hypocrites when it comes to “share the road”. They will yell and whine about unsafe vehicle drivers, all the while constantly running stop signs (and even red lights!), intimidate pedestrians and ignore posted speed limits at their convenience. And I don’t just mean a few of them – I mean *most* of them. I’ve ridden with many large groups in both SF and LA and they all seems to have double-standards about this, as well this kind of self-righteousness smugness / victim-hood attitude that serves as a form of cultural/tribal self-identity. Yes, vehicle drivers can be inconsiderate and dangerous to bikers and peds alike, but I suspect the vast majority of this is due to roads / intersections being designed for vehicle traffic efficiency with everyone as an afterthought. We need to address this at the civil/legal level, and not by flipping off drivers who honk when we breeze through a stop sign.

  28. [group of road users I don’t identify with] are worse than [group of road users I identify with]? Who could have guessed?

  29. “The vast majority of drivers I encounter are entitled morons who blatantly ignore every traffic law…”

    Basically, if you swap “running stop signs” for “exceeding the speed limit” then most cyclists and most drivers have a pretty equal level of ignoring traffic laws. We both ignore the rules whenever we 1) don’t think it puts us in danger and 2) don’t think we’re likely to get caught by the police.

    Drivers would run certain stop signs where visibility is good, and stop and then drive through otherwise empty red lights if they weren’t afraid of cameras/police catching them. Similarly, cyclists would speed if they could pedal fast enough.

    People in general are self-entitled assholes on the roadways regardless of their specific mode of transport.

  30. Bicycling is just not part of the american culture. Americans hate cyclists, and american cyclists don’t know how to ride in traffic safely. If you don’t drive a car in the U.S., you are pretty much fucked, unless you live somewhere with good public transit.

  31. To all you commenters who are joking about killing a cyclist I’d like you to meet Angela,

    She was killed this week while acting in a perfectly lawful way. I’ve scoured the internet for an incident where a bicyclist killed a car driver but damned if I’m not having the hardest time.

    Please stop justifying driving dangerously around bicyclists because you once saw one roll through a stop sign.

    Thank you.

    1. “I’ve scoured the internet for an incident where a bicyclist killed a car driver but damned if I’m not having the hardest time.”

      OTOH, it doesn’t seem like you guys are having such a hard time killing pedestrians. And those weren’t so hard to find:

      1. Pedestrians are so rude and self important, we’re all a little better off without them don’t you think?

  32. It’s hard not to be smug when you’ve chosen the most economical, earth-friendly, and usually fastest method of transportation while everyone else is a bunch of murdering, gas-guzzling, overweight car drivers.

    Except the public trans people. I have mucho respect for the buses and trains and the people that operate and ride them.

  33. Also, for everyone who wants to say “the majority of X are Y…” (five people have already used the word ‘majority’ in the comments), stop and replace “cyclists” with “muslims” and “drivers” with “black people” in the sentence you’re writing and see if it’s still something you’d be willing to post.

    1. I agree that the whole battle between bikers and drivers is a bit too harsh and talking “majorities” is never doing anyone any real good, but why would we want to suddenly change it all to be about muslims and black people?

      I have seen this stunt before and begin to wonder if this is the new “Hitler card” to throw into a discussion?

      1. Well, I’ve done serious research on this thread, and come to the conclusion that the majority of commenters on every website are dirty assholes who would smash my bike and I to pieces, given the slightest chance. Also Hitler.

  34. I use to keep handy paper copies of a far-more verbose but equally reasoning and reasonable variation on this theme that I would hand to those offensive drivers who I’d catch at the next red light. Politely requesting they read it at a later convenience, if they wouldn’t take it from me, I’d slip it under their windshield wiper and tell them thank you.

    I’ve done the aggressive thing against inconsiderate motorists and while it might be demeanable as a “passive” attack it’s far more civilized and productive.

  35. I will preempt my post and say that I am a frothing at the mouth, rabid proponent of bicycles and bicyclists.

    and, to all of you who raged in this thread…you just lost the game.

    a) Who cares if I blow through a red-light or a stop sign? When I am on my bike, I have my senses engaged..ears alert & eyes open. In some sensible cities, like Salem, Oregon – it is legal for cyclists to roll through on red. Why? Because lawmakers intelligently perceived cyclists are inherently in touch with the world around them. Drivers of vehicles, otoh, are typically not. When you honk at me for going through a red light/stop sign, I harvest lulz from your rage & frustration. Sometimes, I even turn around, wave & give a pleasantly toothy grin.

    b) Bicyclists endangering people? Anyone care to provide me with some real data on how many cyclists hit pedestrians each year? Here is a link to some enlightening statistics on just how lethal cars are to bikes, and how benign bikes are:

    c) as a cyclist, I am not passive-aggressive – I am directly aggressive. Your vehicle is deadly force in motion and tens of thousands of people every year are killed & maimed by them.

    d) Outside of Critical Mass, 95-99% of driver/rider rage I see comes from the driver of a car. Why? Typically, 90% of the time, it’s simply because the bicyclist is on a bike. In Portland, OR – there is (and has been) a veritable war by drivers against cyclists. There are various times when craigslist ‘rants & raves’ is a pure sea of hate against 2 wheelers. I have been yelled at and threatened, my friends have been yelled at and threatened (and so on) merely for doing things like being on a bike, or safely & properly utilizing the road by passing slow drivers and the like.

    e) forget that magnet. I keep a u-lock and my cleated bike shoes handy to give my love to your car’s paint job if you almost kill me out of stupidity.

    1. you admit to violating the rules of the road and you wonder why people hate you?

      thanks for validating every driver’s POV on this thread.

  36. I also rode a motorcycle for a while. I think most bike riders accept the fact that riding in an unprotected vehicle is INHERENTLY dangerous, whereas bicyclists have this notion of being a victim of vehicular aggression. I think this comes from willful ignorance about the traffic rules and why they are there in the first place. Yes, pedestrians have “right” of way…but really, everyone has to place safety as their first consideration, rather than who is entitled to what.

    Listening to some of the immature bike advocates here, maybe requiring cyclist license from DMV is starting to sound like a good idea.

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  38. It’s fairly obvious to me that neither drivers nor cyclists want to share the roads with each other. Instead of advocating for silly, irritating little social shaming magnets why not entreat drivers to join you in advocating for separated (by physical barriers) bike lanes? Or, better still, get cyclists to pay their fair share of taxes for the roads that they use that are predominantly funded by car drivers. I don’t think concrete barriers cost that much, and perhaps if the yearly bicycle registration fees were increased by a hundred dollars or so municipalities could afford to put more separate bike lanes and avoid the dangerous interaction between bicycle traffic and motor vehicle traffic. Bikes and cars don’t belong in the same place as each other, and everyone seems to understand that deep down. As a driver I don’t want to worry about small, fast, unpredictable cyclists, and as a cyclist I don’t want to worry about dodging 4 ton steel death machines. Can’t we all get along?

  39. As a year round rider, I have had days when I wanted something like this. ON the other hand, I’ve had far more close calls with other bicyclists than cars where I live. About a good third of them just do whatever they want, whenever they want, on the road, shoulder, sidewalk and lawns. This pisses me off, because when I have tried to discuss the fact that our state law defines them as vehicles, they invariably go from clueless to raging asshole in about as long as it takes to bring up the subject, and I’ve had a couple try and start fights with me right there and then over their “god given right” to ride against traffic in the middle of the street in the dark without a light on. I’m still pretty astonished at the number of cyclists who don’t realize they can be cited for driving drunk, failing to stop at a signal, etc.

    I really don’t have this problem with asshole drivers. Most of them tend to realize they have certain responsibilities when driving a vehicle, and even if they get angry, all it takes is me snapping a photo of their license plate in order to get compliance. They know that it does no good to argue when they know they are wrong if they are going to be reported for their behavior. And when that fails, reminding them that I just kicked my own ass down 5 miles of road, and that I can kick theirs too gets the overly aggro ones to back off a bit.

  40. Oh, and User23 for the perfect example of what everyone is talking about.

    I rode my bike for many years in urban places. I drive in them too. Missing bikes is not because we’re on our cell phones making deals to have oil dumped on seagulls. Missing bikes happens because they are harder to see. Period. And, nothing makes one more angry than having some reckless cyclist flying through stop-signs because they think have super-powers of senses engaged because they’re so in the moment. Meanwhile, if I did hit them, I would feel crappy about it for the rest of my life, even though it wasn’t my fault.

    1. I drive in them too. Missing bikes is not because we’re on our cell phones making deals to have oil dumped on seagulls. Missing bikes happens because they are harder to see. Period

      my last post on this subject.

      uhm, I believe your post just made my case about car culture. With all due respect, if you drive like you proof-read..all of us bicyclists are dead.

      1. User 23, you are EXACTLY what is wrong with bike culture.

        “Who cares if I blow through a red-light or a stop sign? When I am on my bike, I have my senses engaged..ears alert & eyes open.”

        Maybe for you that is true, as opposed to being a load of crap. However, for a lot of cyclists, that isn’t the case. Headphones shutting out all ambient noise and a sense of privilege have lead to things like a bike running a red light and broadsiding my car. Do I hate cyclists for that? Nope. DO I think that some cyclists are smug and overbearing without having a grasp of reality? You bet.

        “I keep a u-lock and my cleated bike shoes handy to give my love to your car’s paint job if you almost kill me out of stupidity”

        Way to escalate a bad situation into someone wanting to REALLY run you down. Smart move. Take a (hopefully) accidental near miss and escalate it with willful property damage and now “driver/rider rage I see” isn’t coming from the driver of the car, but from a cyclist responding poorly to a rush of adrenaline and a poor experience.

        Make me aware of a near miss that is my fault? I’ll be filled with regret and concern for the cyclist. Hit my car with a lock and your cleats? I’ll chase you down, haul you off that bike and make sure you pay for the damages and I won’t give a damn about you. If someone cuts me off in a car (which happens frequently, it isn’t like idiot drivers only endanger cyclists), I don’t ram them. TO think that I should be allowed to do so is a sense of over-priviledge that words cannot even describe.

        Do I think that drivers need to be more aware of bicycles on the roads? You bet. Do I think that bicyclists need to obey the rules of the road (however they are set down for bicycles in their community? You bet. I also think that if the rules are different, that they should be covered in “Rules of the Road” so that everyone is aware of it.

        Drivers need to be careful.
        Cyclists like you need to let up on the smugness.

  41. I’m sure all of the motorists complaining about bicyclists not obeying traffic laws drive at the posted speed limit at all times.

    I know, I know, “but that’s different!”

    I got sick of maneuvering around cars parked across the sidewalk when I walk somewhere so I made some “Your vehicle is blocking the sidewalk.” stickers on my label printer. I thought more concise wording was best.

  42. “Who cares if I blow through a red-light or a stop sign? When I am on my bike, I have my senses engaged..ears alert & eyes open.” this type of overconfidence is exactly what causes accidents, I don’t care if you have the senses, skills, and reaction time of a racer or a jet fighter pilot: most of us are just going from A to B, and don’t give a damn about how good others drivers are, as long as they mind the safety and follow the rules.

    Furthermore, traffic rules are not perfect – the important thing is that everyone knows the same rules and understands the inherent risks associated with driving on the road, and what to do with it.

  43. This thread sounds exactly like half the commenters were driving a car and the other half was riding a bike and they sorta ran into each other and the blame game is on full throttle. I expect a fistfight any minute now.

    It would be awesome if there was cyclists in the next GTA game, eh?

  44. “I want one of these that can kill an engine. actually, I’d like to just have a laser target designator and an air strike/artillery strike on call, but I’d settle for one of these that could deactivate an engine in some way, I’m not suggesting explosives but I’m not turning my nose up at them either.”

    I think you’re looking for a portable emp generator. You can pick one up at radio shack for like 20 bucks. But they’re one-use only, obviously.

  45. Liberal vs Conservative, Car vs. Bike (vs. pedestrian), Mac vs. PC (vs. Linux). When did we lose our manners? Perhaps if we weren’t so stubborn blaming everybody else for what seem to be larger problems. Perhaps if we weren’t all so busy trolling each other… we might try to get to know each other and respect each other.

  46. For the record, I am a pedestrian/public transit user.

    I have seen both cars and bikes screw up, but I see bikes do waaaaay more illegal things that put themselves directly in danger, than I see cars. How often do you see a car run a red light? Very rarely! Maybe once or twice in 5 years have I seen it. How often does a bike run a red light? 80% of the time (where I live, it is explicitly illegal for a bike to run a red light). I’m actually surprised when I see a bike NOT do something stupid and unlawful.

    The thing is, you need to pass a driver’s test to get a driver’s license. No such test exists for cycling. I think this is the main problem here.

    1. I see motorists going through red lights all the time! When there is a home football game and traffic is going 10 mph it is fun to actually *walk* as soon as the light changes to “Walk” and get a couple cars who went through the red light trapped behind a column of pedestrians who waited for the “Walk” light. They get pretty mad about that even though it’s their own fault.

      I obeyed traffic laws religiously on my bicycle for several years because I thought it would make motorists accept me as an equal on the road. It didn’t work. For a few more years I obeyed them anyway just for the principle. Finally, I realized that if I stop at a red light, check for traffic, and go if there is no cross traffic I’m going to save myself some time with almost zero risk of getting a ticket. I might piss off some self appointed traffic cops/motorists who see me do that but I really don’t care anymore. Motorists are going to be angry about me being on the road no matter what I do, so it really doesn’t matter what I do. I still look out for my own safety and yield the right of way to whoever has it.

  47. How about one that looks like a warning sign (yellow diamond a la deer crossing or baby on board) that just says “ASSHOLE”. This would be funny and you’d know to watch out for the guy with 5 of these plastered on his car in various spots.

  48. Reading as much as I could stand of this thread did quite a bit to persuade me the smug jerkishness is the human condition. We don’t have enough cyclists where I live to know much about their typical behavior. However, I do know my local vehicle code in detail, and I can say with near certainty that NO motorists follow it. NONE. Everyone drives speed limit plus five or ten, no one ever yields to pedestrians as required, turn signal use is sporadic… these are the most obvious, but I could go on. *I* don’t follow it, frankly.

    On this basis, I have to guess that all the drivers ranting about the lawlessness of cyclists are pretty selective themselves in deciding which laws to follow. If so, self-righteousness does not become them.


  49. +1 to “can we all try to follow the rules and get along?” from a year-round bike commuter in Boston.

    I just want to get home safely. I don’t care about your bike vs car vs ped “culture” wars (as if there were such a thing!).

  50. Pedestrian commuter and bike rider here.

    I walk on a sidewalk across a bridge…the sidewalk is bordered by a bike lane. The bike lane is 6 inches away.

    Don’t expect me to get out of your way when you are on the sidewalk…typical trip across…about 50% of the bikes are on the sidewalk.

    In terms of injury potential…I think it is about equal between the pedestrian and the bike rider. One time a bicyclist ran into me at speed. I got a nasty bruise, he got a wicked scrape…and a bent rim and busted his glasses.

  51. So what do I give to the bicyclist who blew through a stop sign and knocked over my daughter in her stroller? No worries the road rash healed on her eventually.

    What do I give the cyclist who jumped the light at 3rd and Howard in SF causing the motorcycle who had the right of way to ditch and roll and a few times? I’m sure the pins in his leg and arms feel real good around this chilly time of year.

    What do I give the cyclist who ignored the 4 way stop light at 4th and Folsom in SF and ran into a 7 and 4 year old? They got taken off strapped to boards due to neck and skull injuries. I’m sure a few kisses from mom patched them right up.

    All three of these cowards took off before they could be held accountable for their actions.

    You aren’t helping your cause with arrogance and general jackassery.

  52. I totally agree with Pantograph: “Passive-aggressive, pedantic and smug. Terrible.” What makes it even more abrasive is my observation that the majority of commenters I encounter don’t seem to realize that they ARE NOT BLOGGERS WITH A WEBSITE. They are a visitor, and subject to the same rules as all other visitors (at least where I live). They don’t have the right to push their agendas and then SHUDDER when their opinion is contradicted.

  53. I ride my bike around the Mission in San Francisco all the time. I also ride through SOMA a lot. In the 3 years I’ve been doing so, I have never encountered a driver who was actively malicious. I wish I could say the same about bicyclists.

    Remembering that you’re silent, usually faster than traffic, and frequently under illuminated will go a long way to explaining why cars aren’t “sharing the road” with you.

    If you find yourself surrounded by assholes all the time, perhaps the problem is you.

    (favorite Mission bicycle scene: when two scoflaw brakeless fixi-riding hipsters both blow through intersection and almost/hit each other. )

  54. I just went and read the boing boing comment policy to see if they had any rules or guidelines about people suggesting that people using certain modes of transporation should be killed.

    I’m completely disgusted by some of these comments. shannigans gives you the benefit of the doubt and believes you are joking about killing people on bikes. I wouldn’t be as generous and I’d like the moderator to look more closely at this thread and see if some of the hostile death threats are within the scope of your moderation policy.

    I also don’t appreciate cyclists talking about blowing up cars either.

    Seriously calling for people’s violent death on this thread should send your comment into moderation since they are hostile and offensive.

  55. Drivers who mess with cyclists or don’t give them safe passage suck. Smug cyclists who disobey road rules and taunt drivers suck. Persons with negative blanket opinions of all drivers or all cyclists suck. There.

  56. It takes a lot of pent up anger and frustration to come up with an idea like this. Probably the same amount that’s needed to cloud one’s judgement so much that they take my comment (and those of its ilk) seriously. Ease up folks. It’s saturday night. And don’t hurt any cyclists (unless they throw a magnet on your car – just kidding. No, I’m not. Yes, I am.)

  57. Where I live, there is definitely not a critical mass of cyclists around, so you don’t really interact with them on a daily basis unless you’re driving specific routes at specific times, and most of the time, it’s commuters.

    I’ve been commuting by bike to work for a year now, and the hatred towards cyclists transcends all reason. I consider myself a pretty careful cyclist. The only time I run red lights is when the light is on a sensor and won’t turn for me. I slow down at stop signs and stop if cars approach. Yet people scream at me at least twice a month. I’ve never been screamed at while I’ve been driving.

    Usually, the people who scream obscenities at me are screaming for no reason. Often, they are traveling in the opposite direction as I am so there is no way I could obstruct them. Sometimes, it is when I’m riding in the right lane and they could easily pass me like any other slow moving vehicle. One time, some hick yelled at me as I was stationary at a red light waiting to turn, as he crossed from the other side of the intersection. I have no idea what I did to piss him off other than simply existing.

    Like most drivers, I get annoyed when someone slows me down, but I get over it. Some people don’t. I’ve grown to really hate cyclists haters because in my mind, they are selfish, hateful people.

  58. Ah no surprise here, the same old anti-bike trolling: We don’t have to respect bikes on the road because I saw a dude ride through a stop sign. Mouth breathing dum dums.

    As somebody else said above “Fuck you all from a law abiding cyclist*”.

    *and law abiding driver too, in my case.

  59. I’ve been bike commuting for several years in Olympia and Seattle Washington. Most of the time I see drivers and cyclists obey the laws. I follow traffic laws about the same on the bike as I do when I drive. That means I default to obeying the law unless I judge the situation to be safe enough to bend a rule.

    Does this mean I sometimes run a stop sign? Yes. If I can see – and hear – that I’m the only vehicle approaching a stop sign I will slow and carefully check for traffic. Also, being rear-ended is a considerable worry I have as I have the less knowledge of what is happening behind me, so I’d rather not stop if road leading to the intersection doesn’t have great visibility.

    Does this mean I will sometimes speed on I5? Yes. Especially If the general speed of traffic is above the speed limit.

    Does this mean I will sometimes Jay walk… (OK enough of that)

    Drivers need to recognize that being on a bicycle requires a different safety strategy when it comes to interacting with cars. (Could it be called defensive biking?) Apart from confirmation bias, I think this is a large reason why drivers are always noticing cyclists breaking the rules.

    If drivers are angry about this, please don’t direct it at cyclists, most of us aren’t out there trying to interact negatively. Instead support local efforts to build infrastructure that can safely accomodate all modes of transportation.

  60. I drive. I bike. I walk.

    Be honest, drivers. The reason you don’t like bicyclists riding through red lights is because you’re jealous and self-righteous. It just whips up your little ire when someone does something you can’t do. It’s like being in Germany, where old women will glare at you for jaywalking.

    And you know why you can’t do it when you’re driving? Because you’re driving a weapon, one that kills the same number of American every year as died in the entire Vietnam war.

    If the cyclist screws up, s/he ends up dead. If you screw up, *other* people end up dead. Your self-righteous tantrums threaten people with death. That’s the difference. That’s why cops worry more about you driving through a stop sign than they do about bikes. Because they know who is a danger to others.

    Personally, I let people be. When I’m driving, I accept that bikers will want to take advantage of their vehicle. When I’m biking, I act respectfully toward cars, but that doesn’t mean I won’t cross on a red. Often I do it because I’d rather get out in front of the cars than try to go through the intersection with them, where they can turn right into me (which they have). And when I’m walking, I realize the safest thing I can do is be predictable and just enjoy my surroundings.

    And with all of that, no where do I end up more pissed off than in the car. My anger, though, is directed at other drivers. They are the *real* problem :)

  61. I am legally licensed and am unrestricted at this time to operate cars heavy firefighting equipment and fixed wing multi engine aircraft, I also instruct in their safe operation. I drive a bicycle, I am also married and have children.
    I understand this yellow card idea fully. The feeling that careless drivers who regularly endanger not my paint but my life and can orphan my children and make my wife a widow from the convenience of their warm car but only ever have to face their own conscience enrages me. They will never have the same risk unless their carbon belching hybrids and SUV’s become surrounded by a parallel universe where texting teens drive battle tanks, careless soccer moms schlep kids in fuel tanker trucks, and late for work office workers with a hangover start to commute in airport crash rescue rigs. There is no risk to driving carelessly around cyclists except having innocent blood on your hands. Cyclists and pedestrians might leave each other bruised but the odds of fatal injury are low not to say the current traffic management doesn’t endanger both, but cars are the real killing machines. Carelessness on a bicycle which can dent and scratch paint is in no way comparable to carelessness with a killing machine that can easily crush or dismember a cyclist. No matter the accident or who is at fault a car will drive away from it.
    Maybe the magnet should show a family picture and say please don’t kill my daddy.
    Those who joke about murdering cyclists or anyone, it is as funny as joking about gassing Jews by the millions; those who are serious are terrible people and should go away somewhere with the rapists and the child molesters.

    1. The bicycle holocaust! Well, now the Nazis have been mentioned. Normally, that should signal the end of the discussion – but I expect cyclists to ignore the signal and just go on.

      (see's_law – I know, I know, it’s bad form to mention Godwin’s law. But sometimes it’s necessary.)

  62. My 55 pound steel tandem bike is my excuse for not stopping at stop signs, although my brakes work fine. In my car I always come to a complete stop and obey all traffic rules. What’s your excuse for not seeing me?

  63. I wish I could throw a red one at the bicyclist that rear ended me, putting a big gash in my back bumper. Or the bike that came up behind me on a sidewalk and told me to get out fo the way so he could pass. The joys of living in a flat college town.

  64. Here’s what I don’t get. I drove in San Francisco for years. Yes, bicyclists got in my way and annoyed me. Pedestrians also got in my way and annoyed me. But neither bicyclists nor pedestrians could hold a candle to the delaying and life-threatening behaviors of other drivers. So why do drivers focus their ire on bicyclists instead of other drivers? My best guess is that it’s the same reason that adults hit children: they’re smaller and slower and the big people can get away with it.

    Also, if you look in your mirrors regularly, stop where you’re supposed to stop, drive the speed limit, use your turn signals and generally pay attention to your surroundings rather than your phone/lunch/drink/eyelash curler, it’s quite a bit harder to get hit.

  65. I ride a bike all season, and also happen to race cars, as well as commute via auto.

    I think I’m qualified to say that a lot of drivers DO SUCK ASS at driving, and deserve any kind of warning. I say pack a 9mm too, just in case.

  66. I’m a cyclist and a driver. I’ve tried riding my bike and following traffic rules as I would in my car, but it just doesn’t work. For example, I never get honked at more (nor do I feel more unsafe) than when I make an explicitly legal left turn in the left turning lane.

    The traffic laws have been designed for cars, for a car world. As cycling becomes increasingly popular we’re going to have to come up with cycle laws—and these I am all for. In the meantime, drivers need to realize that they are better off having cyclists not follow the rules (even if it feels a bit chaotic at times).

    If I had the time, I would organize a “Bike-a-Like-a-Car-Day” to protest for bike lanes and cycle specific traffic laws. In my city, where there are starting to be as many of cyclists as there are cars in the downtown, this would likely double the duration of the local commute.

    1. I’m a cyclist and a driver. I’ve tried riding my bike and following traffic rules as I would in my car, but it just doesn’t work.

      Shale, what do mean by that? Because you get honked at it means the rules don’t work?

      “drivers need to realize that they are better off having cyclists not follow the rules (even if it feels a bit chaotic at times).”

      What country are you in? If in the US, what state? There are rules for bike in California. I know them and follow them.

      In many cases the bicycle rules are very much like car rules.
      Stop at lights that are red. Stop at stop signs. Be predictable.

      1. Thanks spocko, sounds like you’re one of the good ones. As someone behind the wheel I appreciate it. There are also laws for skateboards and in-line roller skates. I earlier posted a link to a site for them. I do wonder if schools are still teaching bike safety.

  67. I cycled for 30 years in Dublin and I don’t think I ever stopped at a stop sign or a red light if it was safe to proceed. If I cycled on the pavement, it was never at speed and only when the pavement was empty. If there were pedestrians around I would just dismount and push the bike.

    I have never once encountered the kind of aggression from drivers towards cyclists that seems to be commonplace in the US (I am also a driver). I find the extreme attitudes on both sides extraordinary, you lot are aliens please stay at home.

    I now live in the Middle East where the average life expectancy of a cyclist is about 20 minutes but this is down to stupidity on the part of drivers rather than aggression for the most part.

  68. If you find yourself surrounded by assholes all the time, perhaps the problem is you.
    Best comment, so far, by Anon.

    It would seem that many of the cyclists on this thread have their pressure valves screwed down way too tight, and are always on the edge of rage. Perhaps a little less pedal pumping and adrenaline-surging might help you to realise that, in fact, there’s not a dread conspiracy by all the car drivers to hunt you down, nor do the traffic planners, designing an interchange, keep striking bits of the drawing out and saying “Oh no, that will never do, too favourable for cyclists, let’s put a pinch-point in here, and a drain grid, and stop them just…. here on the steep upgrade. Oh, and can we arrange for some loose gravel to be strewn weekly on that fast turn?

    Where have I ever seen a thread in which drivers discuss ways of attacking cylists?
    Maybe I’ll invent something, like say a little dispenses of chain-tangling kevlar fibres, that shoots out in response to a sudden flash of something yellow being hurled at my car.
    But no.
    In reality, I don’t spend my time obsessing at the ill-lit, rule-ignoring cyclists. And nor have I ever hit one.

    1. Have you ever ridden a bike in traffic? Cyclists don’t go into these situations already filled with rage. The situation is what causes the rage!

      I cycled a 8-mile-round-trip commute in Southern California for a while. That’s nothing compared to what some people do, but it was absolutely brutal. When I got to my destination I would be shaking – not from the exercise (if I did the same thing in a park or something I’d be fine) but from the terror of interacting with SoCal car traffic. As others have mentioned with their anecdotes, sometimes people really will go out of their way to yell obscenities or otherwise cause trouble for you – for me it was at least once a week that this would happen, and almost every day I would have extremely close calls with inattentive or otherwise stupid drivers. If this behavior doesn’t make you start raging, you probably won’t last long – you have to be incredibly defensive (and aggressive) to not get killed.

      Of course, considering no one walks in SoCal either, it’s generally safe to ride on the sidewalks through particularly dicey areas. But there are obviously a lot of issues with doing that, and I only did in a couple of specific areas where I would have been killed daily otherwise. Everywhere else I followed traffic laws at least 90% of the time – often it is essentially impossible to follow the traffic laws on a bike, though. Those 10% aren’t the situations people complain about cyclists breaking the law, though.

      1. Where in SoCal were you? I’m guessing you meant “nobody walks in L.A.” I live in L.B., and we’re very heavy on pedestrians here. In fact, I’ve got several friends who don’t own cars. Cyclists aren’t treated that badly here.

        If you were riding your bike in the middle of L.A., well, please realize that in L.A. city you’ve got a lot of angry drivers running around. They’re not targeting you. They do the same thing to each other. If you want to play in traffic, in a place where the traffic is loud, realize they’re going to treat you as another vehicle because that’s exactly what you are.

      2. Yes, I’ve ridden bikes in traffic, like many others here who consider the yellow card to be just another piece of two-wheeler assholery.
        And no, I’ve never ridden in traffic in southern California. In fact, I’ve never ridden a bike at all in any part of the United States of America, but I’ve ridden bikes over quite a lot of europe. I’ve never ever ended a commute in a state of rage.
        I’d suggest that if you can’t commute by bike without rage, you might question your anger management issues, maybe altering your diet might help?
        Try making friends with motorists, perhaps. Some of them are quite nice human beings.
        Maybe it’s just an american thing. Over here in europe we’re probably a bit more relaxed about it all.

  69. Living in an area where cyclists love to ride and people love to drive — 10% of both parties ruin it for everyone else.

    There are just as many total asshole cyclists as there are total asshole car drivers.

    Seriously, it may not endanger my life to have you blocking the lane, struggling up-hill on a 2 lane curvy country road — but after 2-3 minutes don’t you think you could let me pass without forcing me to endanger us and someone in the on-coming lane?

    Dumbass drivers who pass too close and get hyper-aggressive with asshole bikers who don’t get out of the way are also a total jerks. I’ve seen drivers escalate bad situations with inconsiderate cyclists into all out wars. Really if that cyclist won’t get out of the way and is a total jerk, chances are he or she is going to turn out to be one of the 10% who will start screaming, yelling and throwing their bike around.

    Most of this could all be solved by people being considerate of one another, in both directions.

  70. Speaking as a person who has a medical condition that prevents me from driving,I can honestly say that drivers are far and away the most inconsiderate and dangerous things on the road, at least in my little corner of the country.I tend not to take my bike unless I’m going to one of the edge cities, so I have the benefit of interacting with cyclists as a pedestrian much of the time. I find the cyclist courteous and mindful of the safety of all the parties on the road. I do not blame them at all for having to use sidewalks for transportation… the motorists are HIGHLY irresponsible drivers. I’m merely walking in the area and almost get into a traffic accident once or twice each week even though I obey all the traffic laws and only cross on a walk signal! I am extremely lucky I haven’t been clipped yet, but I’m pretty sure my day is coming soon. Needless to say, the cops make bank off giving these guys tickets,but that doesn’t seem to deter the behavior. Sadly enough, more than once a cop was a witness to a near-miss with me and a vehicle due to the occupant’s reckless driving, but I guess they only consider it a crime if I actually get clobbered.

  71. drivers need to realize that they are better off having cyclists not follow the rules

    Because it keeps your numbers in check through natural selection?

  72. Lots of hate going on in this thread.

    The point of the magnet is to give cyclists a voice. Anti-cyclists in this thread cite smugness/rule-breaking as their argument that no cyclists deserve a voice. How does that logic even work?

    Yes the magnet may be passive-aggressive, but how else do you confront drivers? Let me give you an example:

    Google maps recommended biking through the Broadway tunnel in SF, so I assumed it had a bike path. It wasn’t until I was in the tunnel when I realized I would have to take up a significant portion of the lane, and the drivers behind me were not happy about that. They honked, passed me late and with little room. Mind you, I was perfectly within my rights and biking as safely/legally as I could — bikers are allowed full use of the lane, and biking on the sidewalk is illegal (not to mention difficult in that tunnel).

    So I ask you drivers, how am I supposed to convey to you that my life felt threatened, and that your honking was rude and unwarranted? Sure, I can talk to the bicycle coalition about that dangerous route (which I did).

    In that situation, you have your horn; I need a voice too.

  73. The good thing about being a motorist / car driver instead, is that no matter who is in the wrong, no matter who complains to who, when it comes down to it, I’ve got walls of metal around me and in any cycle vs. car accidents, or pedestrian vs. car accidents, the car will always win and I’ll be the one still alive.

    If I had a sticker like this thrown on my car, I’d just take it off and throw it away. You think it’s actually going to change my mind? No, it’s just another piece of trash that needs cleaned off the car, right up there with bird crap.

    Works for me.

  74. Two words: “Defensive Driving” It’s supposed to be taught to both drivers AND cyclists. I spend my time behind the wheel paying attention – no social phone calls, no eating lunch, no putting on makeup (I hate that!). In SoCal, with pedestrians, cyclists, cars (and trains, busses, skateboarders, etc.) I still manage to avoid angry confrontations. Most cyclists in my area aren’t too bad, we just have a lot of traffic all the time.

    I agree that some cyclists (like user23) believe they above the law, and tend to ignore it. They cause accidents hurting themselves and others. Schools used to let kids know about bike safety. Not sure if they still do. Shale even writes “The traffic laws have been designed for cars, for a car world.” and suggests that there are no cycling laws in effect. In fact, there are traffic laws that are specific to all types of vehicles, including bicycles. Here’s a link to a site that’s nothing but laws for cyclists in L.A. County:

    Living close to a pedestrian-heavy shopping district lately, I’ve really only been frustrated by pedestrians who are randomly crossing streets reading or texting – totally unsafe. While waiting to pull into the street left from a drive thru one night, I did have a guy jog right into the side of my car. (I was not moving, he basically ran into a wall.) More and more, people are allowing themselves to be distracted, and I guess that means that to keep ourselves safe we need to be even more aware and operate our chosen mode of transport more defensively.

  75. Sorry if this has been mentioned already (it’s a long thread, and I’d rather not read all the “cyclists/drivers suck” debate), but I think these are a bad idea because of the danger to the cyclist.

    Not because I think some crazy driver will attack them (who would even notice a tiny magnet being planted out of view on their car while driving, especially if their driving is reckless enough to endanger the cyclist?), but because it requires them to find their stack of magnets, successfully peel one off from the rest, focus all their attention on throwing the correct side of the magnet the right distance at the correct part of a quickly-moving vehicle, and do all this in just a few seconds while still controlling their bicycle and keeping an eye on the road ahead. Unless the car is moving very slowly or you can catch up to them at a red light, it seems unfeasible at best, and potentially dangerously distracting at worst.

  76. Giving away a little something after almost made into hamburger? I think not.

    I like scaring the mindless critter in the can. If they can get away, they win. If they’re stuck at a light or pull into the driveway after they just cut me off/nearly brushing me off my bike, they deal with me. I’m loud and it feels good pounding on their can. Pounding won’t dent the car, but it gets their attention. Taxi drivers have no excuse.

    All I need is a big fat ring, piece of pipe, or a bike lock if it gets hairy.

    1. You like pounding and threatening and want to threaten people with a lock? Sounds like a good way to get shot. Intentionally escalating the issue doesn’t make the situation better and BREEDS the sort of hatred that you are complaining about. Way to be a part of the problem.

  77. My suggestion, as someone who drives a lot and hardly ever rides a bike on a road: replace “magnet” with “epoxy” and the text with “FUCK YOU ASSHOLE, NEXT TIME IT’S A KNIFE TO YOUR TIRE.” I suggest a modified packing tape “gun” with that text printed in a loop on it would be a good way of doing it–you could apply one of those to a car at fairly high speeds with one hand, and the gun could clip to the frame or sit in a basket.

    Whatever purpose this horribly shitty little thing was intended for–blowing off steam or changing bad behavior–that will get it done a thousand times more effectively.

    Now, here’s my question. I live in a college town with bike lanes on both sides of the main streets in the student area. I’d say 90% of the traffic, both ways, is in the eastbound bike lane, with all the swerving and squeezing by that entails. Because these are idiot college students (at least the wrong-way ones are idiots) there is zero intra-cyclist confrontation and enormous reluctance to do anything even mildly different from the pack, like ride westbound in the lane 20 feet away on the westbound side of the street. How do you fix THAT? I’d say “police writing tickets” but (a) I know the logistics of ticketing people who might not be carrying ID are difficult and (b) it’s Boingboing.

  78. We interrupt your regularly scheduled Five Minutes’ Hate for this Brief Grammar Nazi Moment:

    It’s official, then? The plural pronoun is the accepted usage for the indefinite singular antecedent? “A cyclist” is a “they”?

  79. in illinois cars have to give bikes three ft on either side. not a bad idea to tag them with a little yellow reminder or a licensee plate number sent to the local police.

    flem itaince

  80. There’s a pedestrian right-of-way crosswalk on a street near my house–it has giant signs reminding drivers that they must legally stop to let pedestrians cross. I’ve been counting–to date, one in twenty cars actually stops.

    Motorists also regularly use the bike lanes in my city to park in or pass other cars on the right.

    The only cyclists I see who do anything even vaguely that dangerous to others are the a-holes who barrel down the sidewalk.

    Meanwhile, the irrational anti-bike hate is so strong that I once had a motorist scream at me to “get a car” after I had been stopped at a red light, and motioned for him to turn left in front of me after it turned green, even though I was going straight and had the right of way.

  81. Shame we don’t have these for all the dangerous cyclists in NYC who flaunt the road rules & aim to kill every pedestrian. Nearly three months ago I suffered a fractured skull in two places because of a bike messenger who ran a red light. Lost my sense of smell and have only just regained enough to balance to walk unassisted.

  82. At first glance I thought the magnet idea was a pretty good one, at least for a laugh or two. After reading a lot of these comments I can’t help but feel pissed off. Not only at motorists, but also riders. There is good and bad on both sides. As someone who rides daily in Los Angeles, probably one of the least bike friendly cities in the country I will have to say that not all motorists are assholes. I have had cars patiently waiting behind me to make a turn. I have also had cars try to squeeze between myself and the next lane of traffic even if I have the lane. I have also seen the big packs of riders that blow through red lights causing motorists to wait at a green light for inconsiderate riders to get through the intersection. That is one reason why I don’t agree with bike clubs like Critical Mass for instance. They seem to have that sense of entitlement. I don’t always abid by the laws. If I get stopped and ticketed I’m asking for it. Just like any motorist that speeds or rolls through a stop sign is asking for it. Long and short of it all is people in general are selfish and inconsiderate. This doesn’t mean riders should dent or scratch cars, and it doesn’t mean peds should jab a stick in our spokes. Maybe motorists and riders and peds come together for a change and get the polotitians to supply more addequate bike lanes and paths. And for those of you that want there to be a license of some sort for riders. At what age could you get one? I’ve been on 2 wheels since I can remember.

  83. I’m all for people biking to work. Go for it. I will happily yield to you, give you oodles of space, and generally be as courteous as I can.

    But boy oh boy, you wouldn’t catch me on a bike on a busy road during rush hour. That would be a freak out psycho hell ride for me. Kudos to anyone with balls enough to endure that.

  84. I think it’s really just that cyclists skew young and male, and young males are more likely to indulge in risktaking behavior than the rest of the population. I bike commute daily and I see lots of young male boneheads both on bikes and in cars. Pretty much all the women and old guys I see are just trying get where they’re going without pissing anybody off or breaking any laws – drivers and bikers alike.

    So really, y’all are just hating on young males. And, as a formerly young male, I can’t say I blame you. I did some stupid shit back in the day. I got better, eventually, as my brain formed up into a fully human shape and I began to realize that I wasn’t immortal or the center of the universe.

  85. To be fair, this sticker is the cycling equivalent of what some car drivers already do, by rolling down their windows just long enough to spew some idiocy at a biker like “get off the road!” or “stop blocking traffic!”, and then speeding off feeling smug and self-satisfied, not realizing how dangerous and antagonizing their slurs actually are, and also not realizing that they are usually also endangering the cyclist by distracting them or blocking traffic while doing so.

    I understand the desire to shame a bad driver and make them feel responsible for their actions without being confrontational, but in reality nobody who ever receives one of these stickers will ever be convinced to change their habits, if in fact they even ever saw the cyclist in the first place.

    As a side note, I would love to see just one article on the internet about bicycles without a bunch of commenters immediately piling on about how the point is invalid because some cyclists are a-holes. I completely agree about the a-holes and can guarantee that the rest of the bicycling community is even more frustrated about them than you are because they consistently derail efforts to legitimize cycling as valid and practical transportation. However, even if EVERY cyclist was an a-hole (which is far from the truth) that still would not mean that they don’t deserve to be safe, and it wouldn’t mean that motorists don’t have an increased responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and predictably around more vulnerable traffic (ie bikes and peds).

    There definitely needs to be better education on both sides, so that cyclists will know how to operate their vehicles safely to protect themselves, but also so motorists know how to operate safely around non-motorized traffic. I have a feeling that many times when a car driver performs a risky maneuver around a biker they have no clue that what they just did was dangerous (ex. passing at an intersection, passing too close, parking in the bike lane, rolling through a stop sign, accelerating to pass, passing in between two bikers going opposite directions, not using turn signals, turning right at an intersection in front of a biker, etc). There is just such a status quo of bad, dangerous driving going on that most people feel justified about it when in a car, but accuse bikers when they take similar risks. Also, they fail to recognize that the existing infrastructure is extremely car-friendly, but not so for bikes. If traffic signal detector routinely failed to pick up your car, how many times would you sit for 5+ minutes waiting for the light to change before you just started ignoring the signals altogether? This is the current reality for cyclists, at least until city planners start taking them more seriously as legitimate transportation.

  86. One thing we, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, can agree on is how much airplanes SUCK. If only we had stickers for them! Taking up the skies, going all kinds of speeds, traveling in all three dimensions, interfering with our right to a clear view of the heavens… GOD I HATE PLANES! We need a ground-to-air sticker launcher so that we can register our disgust with these flying contraptions – flying contraptions that, by the way, may land on YOUR HEAD at any moment, if the pilot confuses his grande latte with the ’emergency land’ button.

  87. I’m a cyclist. I almost got killed this year after I stopped at a red light. When the light turned green I proceeded into the intersection a semi truck ran the light and narrowly missed me because I quickly turned, falling into the curb. I obeyed the law, he almost killed me. There was no time to slap a magnet on his car. I’m a bit dismayed by these comments.

    1. Dear Anon #148, I’m a driver. I was almost killed in ’94 when I was stopped at a red light, proceeded through on a protected left turn green, and then was broadsided by a wrecker tow truck who was traveling at least 40 mph. Although I sustained permanent injuries, I have never met the man, or ever gotten an apology from him. I don’t really care.

      I’m a bit dismayed by the fact that your need to tell someone off and be in the right supersedes your relief at being whole and healthy.

  88. Cyclists should be treated like motorists: go through mandatory training, be licensed, get their vehicle registered, inspected for safety, pay excise taxes, pay parking fees. Identification and accountability helps moderate a lot of irresponsible behavior. Share the the road with a cyclist – no problem, as long as they’re accountable and share some of the responsibility for what’s happening on the road.

    1. Cyclists should be treated like motorists

      I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in California, you have to get 15 questions right out of 20 on a written test, pass a dodgy little eye test and take a very brief driving test. You could take the test here in Palm Springs, where the streets are a hundred feet wide and you’d be hard put to even find a space to test parallel parking, then start driving in downtown LA or SF. And you can just keep going in until you pass under the ‘broken clock is right twice a day’ rule.

      I would love to see a much more stringent process for licensing drivers. It is patently obvious that half the drivers in my area can’t identify a two-way versus four-way stop, have no idea who has the right of way, think that you’re supposed to use the turn signal once you’re halfway through the turn and believe that the mirror in the middle of the windshield is for applying make-up and checking on the kids. I gather that the UK is pretty strict about it.

    2. When the government stops subsidizing cheap oil and bailing out the auto industry with everyone’s tax dollars, when car drivers are accountable for their environmental damage due to carbon emissions and negative social impact due to sprawl, when bikes are allowed on all streets, highways, and bridges around the country, when the price of parking a car on city streets becomes more realistic, and when more than a fraction of 1% of transportation funding goes toward bicycle infrastructure and improvements, then we can start talking about equality.

      I agree with you on the (non-mandatory) training, however, but not on the licensing. Freedom to travel in this country (especially between states) without the government stamp of approval is a fairly long-standing tradition, and if they would be able to take both your car and bike licenses away it would set up a dangerous precedent. Also, wouldn’t they just as easily be able to start licensing other forms of non-motorized transportation (pogo stick license, anyone)?

    3. Boing Boing, I love you to death, but please, quit posting stuff like this about cycling. A discussion that starts off with a piece of cyclist idiocy being used as a counter to driver idiocy is only ever going to generate the kind of frothing mean-spirited bile being spouted here by both sides.

      Them motorists hate us cyclists because they are scared of hurting us. They see us as vulnerable, and silent, appearing suddenly out of nowhere through the traffic. Their journeys would be much more tranquil if they only had to worry about other motor vehicles which, because of their size and power, all behave in much the same way. And they’re not wrong: per mile travelled, motor-vehicle-only motorways and freeways are the safest roads.

      Them cyclists hate us motorists because it’s ridiculously easy for us to kill them. Anyone riding in traffic is in a constant state of at best heightened alertness and at worst abject terror. We are the source of that terror because we are in charge of a ton of steel that can crush them to death with one small error.

      We cyclists disobey the rules of the road because it’s just too easy to do so, and we don’t see it as unsafe because, as it turns out, it’s actually not. Jumping red lights, for which are we regularly vilified, turns out to cause a vanishingly small number of crashes, compared to, for example, one of us rejoining the traffic from an unexpected direction such as the sidewalk.

      We motorists disobey the rules of the road because it’s just too easy to do ten or 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, with microscopic risk of being caught in most areas. We don’t see it as unsafe because our culture has normalised the use of the car as a way of getting around to the extent that the tens of thousands of deaths annually involving motor vehicles go utterly unremarked.

      A moment’s reflection gets one to the realisation that the rules of the road, held up as sacrosanct by many posters here even though they differ substantially between jurisdictions, mostly exist to mitigate the carnage that would ensue if the roads were a free-for-all. That carnage would be a direct consequence of the power and weight of motor vehicles and the inadequacy of human reflexes in controlling such an object travelling at 70 or 80 km/h.

      Differences in road rules from one place to another reflect the level of tolerance of the remaining carnage, and the tone of screaming entitlement coming from some anti-cyclists here stems directly from the US’s willingness to put up with over 40,000 road deaths per year for the convenience of drivers. The UK’s figure of more like 3,000 from a population 1/5 the size has a number of causes, but a difference in cultural devotion to the car is surely one of them. Most obvious example: jay-walking is not a crime in the UK. In fact, pedestrians have priority at junctions, in theory at least.

      That there isn’t a greater framework of rules for cyclists – such as the testing and licensing often suggested – is because cyclists pose a trivial threat to other road users. Serious collisions between riders and pedestrians are very rare. (Someone will now cite one that was in the news somewhere. Yes, it was in the news because it’s rare. That’s what news is: reporting of rare events.)

      In the urban real world of a mix of road users we all have a responsibility to understand how each other is likely to behave. As a driver, I’m likely to exceed the speed limit up the road to my house because everyone else is doing so and it feels perfectly safe to do 40mph up a ride, straight well-lit road. As a cyclist, I’m going to pootle through a red light if I can see it’s clear and safe to do so. As a pedestrian, I’m going to absent-mindedly step out into traffic now and then. Instead of fulminating about how bad the other guy is or how terribly evil they are for breaking the rules, we’d all be better putting ourselves in each other’s shoes.

      The ‘shared space’ concept of street design ( encourages this. While it’s early days yet there’s some evidence it reduces collisions between road users by forcing everyone to think about what they and their fellow road users are doing.

  89. Boy, if I am sharing a road on a 25lb vehicle with another human being driving a 3000lb vehicle, the last thing I would do is throw something at them that may piss them off. Just saying……

  90. Awesome idea!! A new urban game, collect as many yellow cards as possible. Then arrange them on your front fenders, as inspired by the aircraft nose art of world war 2. The goal is to collect enough that people start hailing you like a cab.

  91. The fault lies with both parties. I’ve seen plenty of motorists do dodgy things around bikes them put the cyclists in danger, however, I see bikes disobeying the rules all the damn time – blowing stop signs/lights, riding on the wrong side of a road, riding the wrong way on a one way street, riding on the sidewalk, cutting off cars and pedestrians, etc.

    Many cyclists don’t know they’re supposed to follow the same rules as cars when on the road. Both parties need to change their attitudes and behaviors to make it safer for everyone.

    1. It is always the responsibility of an individual to know any laws associated with an activity they are involved in. That’s not a question of attitude. (You can never go to court and you the “but, your Honor, I really didn’t know!” defense.) Any person who rides a bike on a street is assumed by other vehicles around them to know the law, because they are by default required to. The same would be true if they were on a skateboard or in-line skates or a tractor.

  92. I never really understood the immense hatred cyclists get sometimes. There are obnoxious, aggressive cyclists, drivers and pedestrians out there. Those people are going to be that way no matter what mode of transportation they choose to use. I biked all throughout Philly when I lived there and have always tried to be courteous and safe. Have I blown through stop signs? Of course, but not if a car is sitting there and waiting to go. It is infinitely easier (and free) to get around a city on a bicycle, that’s the point. And I actually was run down by a car, who I was ahead of, and he speed up to try and make a turn in front of me and instead hit me and caused me to go to the hospital. I think that’s the main issue, as many posters have brought up; when cyclists get hit, they usually always get hurt in some way. There are cyclists out there that are safe and conscientious, so don’t hate us all.

  93. I agree that the way this thing is worded, if they became at all common, I would expect to see cars with a bunch of them lined up on the right front fender in an array, like the stencils indicating “kills” on a fighter plane. And as for the extremely high percentage of asshole cyclists, I’m thinking two things: 1) To some extent it’s harder to see a driver, so some automotive assholes are doubtless invisible and inaudible unless they actually swerve; and 2) There are more asshole cyclists because the situation in the U.S. selects for them. All the rest have given up and now drive cars or take public transpo.

    If you think cyclists are rude to everybody, try riding a Segway. That REALLY cheeses ’em off. Even more hilarious is that riding Segways in a large group shuts ’em right up, like Critical Mass in reverse.

  94. As a pedestrian I don’t care if you’re on a bicycle or in an automobile. If you’re being a jerk, you’re being a jerk. The problems I typically see with automobiles are pretty narrow in scope (usually involving passing a stopped streetcar on the right when passengers are offboarding). The problems I’ve had with bicycle (ab)users are a bit broader in scope, typically involving riding on the sidewalks, weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic in crosswalks, and ignoring stop signs / red lights even when there is intersecting pedestrian traffic.

    The magnets seem like an amusing idea to me even if I don’t agree with the sentiment behind them. My typical response to being threatened with a car involves a lot of screaming and public shaming… but for a few weeks now I’ve been thinking about getting some proper bumper stickers printed up. Put something offensive to the police on them and slap them over the rear license plate. It’s not a safety hazard and it’ll raise the ire of the cops hopefully resulting in a ticket of some sort.

    It would work pretty well for bicycles that threaten pedestrians too, assuming that they remain stopped as long as an automobile typically does at an intersection.

  95. An interesting data point – the only people in this thread who are actually uttering implied death threats are motorists, threatening or advocating death against cyclists.

    If you really believe aggressive motorists aren’t a problem, please give the above a moment to sink in.

    You’re probably one of the vast majority of motorists who do their best to drive safely for everyone – if you endanger someone, it’s certainly accidental, and the person who was endangered might well share the blame. You also probably swerve to avoid, not to hit, small animals crossing the road. But not every motorist is like you in either of respect, and you may be surprised if you knew just how many motorists are very very different from you.

    Consider – responsible cyclists get angry at people who ride without lights and in dark clothes at night, because those cyclists make them look bad. And we get angry at them because we see them – everyone sees them, because they do it all the time. They don’t just turn off their lights when they pass a motorist, then turn them back on. You know exactly how many of these idiots you pass on the roads.

    But what about the motorists who yell at cyclists, throw bottles at them, try to deliberately hit them with their doors or squeeze them into parked cars? You’d probably get mad at them if you saw them do it – but they don’t do it all the time – it only takes a second, and then they return to their appearance of a responsible motorist.

    You have no idea how many of them there are on the roads, so cyclists’ rage at them might seem baffling to you. And when I’m on my bike, I have no way of knowing you’re not one of them.

    I suspect that may be where some of the bewilderment of responsible motorists comes from, at the attitudes that some cyclists can have in response to comments they make, that seem like harmless jokes to them.

  96. I wound up for awhile cycle-commuting (not for smugness or fitness, but for monetary reasons that kept myself and the wife on a single car for a few years).

    I spent plenty of that time dodging incredibly dangerous and idiotic drivers who paid little or no attention to the road around them. Pull up to any line of cars in traffic and count the amount of drivers actively using a cell phone in that line. I’d say the number is at least 50% anywhere here in tempe/phoenix – and by “using” the cellphone I’m not just talking about phone calls, most of these people are actively engaged in text message conversations etc while rolling along at 45mph.

    One of these evenings I’m going to set up a helmet mounted cam pointed sideways and roll along a line of cars in traffic to demonstrate just how ridiculous things have gotten. It’s a dangerous world out there.

    For anyone out there saying cyclists are the more dangerous component in the car vs bike world we live in, I’d like to remind you that when you hit a cyclist it’s only your paint job that suffers. The same isn’t exactly true in reverse. Even though both people should clearly be obeying the rules of the road, the emphasis should absolutely be on the driver of the bigger vehicle paying more attention to the world around them.

    I’ve blown through plenty of red lights, but I did it with full awareness of my surroundings and the vehicles in it. The last car I saw blow through a red light did it without even looking up from his cell phone.

    I’ve never seen a cyclist banging out a text message while hurtling down the road at 45mph.

  97. One of those magnets, stuck crookedly to the tailgate, would be the perfect touch to an “art car” decorated with bicycle detritus and safety equipment.

  98. I rode as my only form of transportation until I was 26, and probably until I was 30 for 80% of my commutes. I am continually horrified at how cyclists behave, the double standard (or the total ignorance) on following the rules of the road is terrible. Being unpredictable causes all kinds of problem whether your on a bike or a car. That said, I have yet to see a bike vs car accident turn out well for the cyclist. Please be carful while getting around folks. Don’t let you 2500lbs+ vehicle turn lethal, and cyclists don’t be stupid.

  99. So there I was, outside of Kelowna, British Columbia 27 km up into the mountains in Febuary. This is on the Penticton Indian Reserve. I’m coming down the mountain to a particularly dangerous curve on a 2 lane road. As I’m coming down the hill heading to this curve to the right, my brain is thinking, “oh, dear, god!” Yup, 50+ bicyclists taking up the whole right side of the road, and one has just wiped out at the bottom on the cold road. So, since the speed limit is 35, which I was doing before I headed down the hill, (I did mention this was the Canadian Rockies), right. So anyway, as I’m dodging all these American bicycists, (they all had flags on them), unable to brake (that would have ended well), one of the bicyclist steps off his bike and jumps out in front of me yelling for me to slow down… (*sigh) So now I’m swerving to the wrong side of the road as I’m taking the curve down the mountain, listening to the sweet sound of my tires screeching to keep me from death, with a death grip on the wheel and 50 new grey hairs cheering me on, I zip by the injured biker who fell into a bush and all the other bikers who are now blocking the road to rubberneck their downed comrade. I fly on down the road for another kilometer to my house. I park the car, unhinge the death grip, take my first breath in the last 1.1km’s and do the shaken legged waddle to the cabin, wave hullo to the misses, wander upstairs, open the cabinet, pull out the rifle, wander back down to the road just in time for bike fest, fire off a round at the poor local tree who had the misfortune of “just being there”, and step out into the road in front of all the southerners.
    “That was a long hill with a steep slope, now you can all struggle back on up that hill cause there isn’t a single one of you thats crossing past me.” Did I mention that this was a Native Rez in the Canadian Rockies where life and death are a daily battle and the last thing that anyone who lives in the same situation knows that if the breadwinner of the family is either injured or killed that its death to the whole family?
    2 shots later and a whole lotta scrambling back up the mountain. Yep complaints were issued and the bikers who all made complaints were all fined accordingly, by the local rez police, who also live on the same road.
    See, just cause you can be a prick, doesn’t make you right. And we never saw anymore bikers. This was 4 years ago.
    Since then we’ve had to move into the city due to the Kelowna fires and there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m dodging bad drivers and terrible roads and worse weather conditions and a bicyclist goes zipping out in front of me and I slam the breaks and all the groceries go flying and my wife is screaming out the window and my heart starts that deep “thup thup” and I take a breath and release the death grip and I remember, “damn it, my rifle is all the way back at our apartment.”
    Writing this was fun. I have to go to the store now so…

    And to all the *uc%3rs out there on 2 wheels who say that a driver has never been killed by a bicyclist, tell it to Keith Minett!

    Bite my bumper!

  100. I like the card idea but the wording could be better. Humor seems like a good way to go with this type of thing.

    Cars and Bikes simply don’t work well together on the same roads. Where I live you are an absolute fool to ride and are in very real danger every time you ride. I have had a friend killed 15 years ago and everyone I know that rides with regularity has many horror stories. Cycling just isn’t a safe practical way to get around in most of North Carolina. All the magnets in the world won’t change that.

  101. I’m an all-season bike commuter in Boston. I’m the kind of cyclist who stops at all reds and stop signs, and who always signals. I always use lights at night. If there’s blame to put on cyclists, I don’t share in it. If I’ve learned anything from my years on the road as a cyclists, it’s that car drivers are an angry bunch. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been yelled at to “get out of the fucking road!” or have had my life threatened. Sometimes it’s an impatient asshole who can’t stand the thought that I might be adding 2 seconds to his commute. Sometimes it’s someone who just isn’t paying attention. The number of people I see driving while talking or texting on cell phones is downright scary. I see drivers run reds and stop signs CONSTANTLY. Turn signals are very frequently ignored. That said, most cyclists around here are a bunch of dicks who don’t follow traffic laws AT ALL and give cyclists like me a bad name. The difference is that if they hit a car, they’re scratching paint. If a car hits a cyclist, they’re breaking bones, taking lives, etc.

  102. I think it also depends on where you live. When I lived out in Vegas my wife and I commented that “everyone was more important.” They sure acted that way. It didn’t matter if there were a cyclist or a driver, they’d cut you off, tailgate you, flip you off.

    Not pleasant.

    Now we live in Naples, Florida. And for the 7 months out of the year that aren’t tourist season here, everything is blissful. People give way to cyclists, cyclists aren’t being stupid and darting the wrong way through traffic…

    Then tourist season comes, and the asshole drivers and cyclists with them.

    1. @arborman
      Pentiction indian reserve, B.C. outside of penticton, cross the canal everyone floats down every year, worked at the local dominos and Nite Moves (club), went to peach fest by the giant peach, sold handmade jewelry @ the swapmeet on ok falls, PIB officer was frank something or other. Just before the 2 boys who got shot durning a drug sell by the creek that runs down the right side of the road on the rez, just past is the ski resort the road splits one goes up to the resort, one contiues on to hw 3A.

      Suck your own bull, just cause your from bc too, don’t mean you know jack.

  103. Reckon what we can use to point out the buttheadedness of your average cyclist on the road? Like, for example, when he runs the red light because he doesn’t want to wait, when he’s tooling along at 5 miles per hour in the left lane, when he won’t move to the side of the road to let faster traffic past, when he’s riding illegally down the sidewalk, when he’s weaving in and out of the bike lane because he’s trying to text on his goddamn iPhone.

    Hm. If only we had a clever way to call the cyclist an asshole. Because it swings both ways, you know.

  104. My gay friend kyle said, and I quote, “that sticker is sooo gay”. I can’t stop laughing at the way he said that.

  105. I have read the entire comment thread. (yes, really)

    I am a year-round cyclist in Boston ( I have the metal-studded tires, etc.)
    I have 300 lumen front and rear lights, reflectors up the wazoo, and a 110 dB airhorn. I am constantly on guard for a collision with a car.

    I’d say over all things are pretty good here for cyclists, although of course that’s not saying much. It’s no Netherlands.
    I understand things are much worse in NYC, but can’t comment.

    Soongtype, not sure where you’re riding, but I see very very few cyclists I’d describe as dicks. Cars, more so, but still a minority.

    I think about this a lot, although I don’t know why I bother sharing, this is worse than atheists and evangelicals arguing.

    The level of animosity here is quite troubling, but unsurprising. If there’s one thing over a decade of cycle-commuting has taught me, it’s that most people behave on the road as if they are the only person on earth. And that goes for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. No dearth of idiots out there. “Someone else can be careful” is the prevailing attitude

    That being said, the vast majority of drivers behave as they should on the road, –predictably– as do the vast majority of cyclists.
    I am fascinated by this idea that one anomaly ( the reckless light-running cyclist, the asshole entitled driver) makes people feel justified in tarring an entire group with the same brush.
    Stereotype much?
    I do have to say that the driver comments here smack of people who were either prevented from driving with typical oblivious impunity by the legal presence of a cyclist, or who are frustrated that the cyclists go faster than they do in heavy traffic. but that’s neither here not there.

    The reality of the situation is this.
    The roads and the rules of the road are by and large designed solely around cars. That’s just a fact. Bikes are liminal, and most regular cyclists learn to live in the interstices if they want to keep cycling effectively. Rats in the walls.

    Bikes are *not* cars, and it is the height of insanity to treat them as such, or expect them to attempt to behave as such.
    The only thing bikes and cars have in common is wheels.
    When it comes to mass, visibility, top speed, braking distance, vulnerability, maneuverability, driver’s sensory awareness, etc. they couldn’t be more different.
    plus, car vs. bike, car *always* wins.
    Cars, you want me off the road? I’d be happy to. It’s just there’s nowhere else to go.

    I would argue that bikes are in fact far more similar to pedestrians than to cars. However, I don’t think bikes belong on sidewalks, either.
    Bikes really need their own space, but until they get it, we’re just trying to get by. Neither fish nor fowl.
    Painted bike lanes are nice, but they only work if cars pay attention to them, (*as most cars do.*)
    Some don’t. Bike loses. always.
    Cars, you’re artificially powered and climate controlled. You made your choice. Relax.

    I’ll just offer a few pieces of my own experience, knowing that it will open me up to the by and large frothing ravings of the entitled drivers who have been commenting. I see cyclists making reasoned points. I don’t see drivers doing the same.

    Remember, Car vs. bike, bike always loses.
    When one of us makes a mistake, your paint gets scratched, I die.
    Regardless of what you indignant drivers claim to have seen, which of us do you think is more likely to be making those mistakes, to be acting unsafely with casual indifference?
    Hint: not me.

    I have been hit by a car five times in the last five years, never seriously, thank goodness. Every time it has been when I have been riding 100% legally by any definition, and the car has done something illegal and stupid.
    Cyclists are going to get hit whether we follow the rules or not. We start at a disadvantage. The playing field is not level.

    The most recent incident was when a car ahead of me decided to drift to its right across the painted bike lane, less than 15 feet in front of me (no signal, no look, no nothing).
    We were approaching an intersection, so I assumed this fellow planned on turning right, and like so many drivers, didn’t consider the bike lane to be a “real” lane, with “real” vehicles in it, i.e. a situation requiring a look in the mirror and use of a turn signal.

    I constantly assume stuff like this will happen, so I was ready, didn’t get hit, and simply went to the left as the car straddled the bike lane right in front of me and and braked.

    Of course, what I wasn’t entirely ready for was for the car to flare further right and then TURN LEFT at the intersection!
    Because I was in danger mode, I was able to avoid a serious collision and only bumped the car’s rear left fender as I came off my bike and spun around in the middle of the street.

    All you hyper-ventilating cyclist-hating drivers on the thread, what should I have done to avoid this? How did scrupulously following the rules of the road (written to prevent cars from killing cyclists) help me?

    The rules are not written to make car/cyclist interactions fair ones.

    I have had uncountable near misses. I can say with confidence that on the order of 99% of them have been because of a car misbehaving, and that the only reason they weren’t hits was because I am paying attention for two, as I have to. No one else is looking out for me, as far as I can tell.
    Drivers may dispute this, and offer anecdotes of oblivious cyclists.
    Fine. I’ve seen those guys too, although vanishingly few. They are far far more rare on my roads than oblivious drivers, or than the stories of angry drivers would have it.

    I disagree with their behavior, and would never ride that way. But I am not responsible for their behavior, any more than you drivers are responsible for the guy who hit me last month. Stop generalizing.

    You know why the accidents or near accidents are never my fault?


    Why on earth would I do something that’s going to put my life in danger? My commute is already the most dangerous thing I do in my entire life, and that’s if everything goes well!

    Neal Stephenson said in his book Zodiac that in Boston, you have to ride as if you are invisible, or as if you have a target on your back. Pretty much true. You can never let your guard down when you are cycle commuting, and you can’t trust anyone or assume anything.

    My goal is to never cause a car or pedestrian to change their legal behavior because of me or my riding. Ideally, legal behavior or not, I don’t ever want a car to have to brake or turn aside for me.

    Realistically, they sometimes will have to, because that’s what the rules state, but I try to make sure it’s because they’d have had to brake anyway.

    This is the only way I can stay safe.

    I have to assume that I’m the only one of the two drivers in any possible collision who is actively trying to avoid it.

    You drivers complaining about bikes weaving in and out of traffic… may I introduce you to the drivers complaining about me taking up the entire lane? [like a car, I might add, as I am legally entitled to do.]
    Can’t have it both ways. Either I’m just like a car with all the privileges or I am something else.
    You two groups sort this out, and let me know what it is you drivers would like us lowly cyclists to do.

    When I am commuting to work, and come upon a lane (or two) of cars stopped dead, because traffic is at a standstill, you want me to stop at the back of the line of cars as if I was a car? (ha!)

    for the sake of argument, all right, I will. But what am I to do when the cars start moving again? Stay in the lane? You hate that! It doesn’t make sense, either, I am not as fast as a car.
    Should I move over to the side? OK.
    But if I can ride there when car traffic is moving, why not when it is stopped?

    What if the drivers in the right lane are too far over, and there is no room to pass? what then?
    What if someone is illegally double parked? What if someone has their driver’s side door open into the bike lane or its functional equivalent?
    What would you like me to do then?

    You think I *want* to have close encounters with cars?
    You think I enjoy that?
    Tell me how to avoid them, and I will.
    Tell me how to avoid the guy who floored it and crossed the double yellow on an otherwise empty road to pass me *in the oncoming lane* as I was about to turn left, and then parked 500m after he went by me.
    Unfortunately, it’s impossible.

    I think you’ll find that if you assume cyclists are trying to get from A to B without getting hurt or making anyone else change their behavior, you’ll find they are very predictable.
    they may not be behaving like a car, but that’s kind of my point.

    For the few cyclists that aren’t, well, be alert and careful, there are drivers like that too.
    Incidentally, where’s the anger about them, and why doesn’t it extend to all drivers?

    Red lights.
    I go through red lights all the time.
    You know why? It makes me *safer*.
    And to the person up-thread who said it was inherently unsafe, with all due respect, you’ve no idea what you are talking about. Is running the stop sign on the abandoned country road where you can see a mile in every direction at 3:00 AM unsafe?
    Of course not. safety is situational.
    The rules are there to encourage safety, and to take safety judgments out of people’s hands. The rules themselves are not safety. If you think what I am doing is unsafe, don’t do it.
    Cf the speeding references above. People break traffic rules all the time.

    Do I go through red lights unheedingly when there is traffic moving through the intersection with the right of way?
    Of course not, that would be insane.
    I’ve only ever seen a cyclist do that once. Ever. He was freaking nuts.

    What I do is what the vast majority of all cyclist light-runners do.
    I slow as I approach a red. I survey the traffic that has legal right of way.
    If I have to stop (because there is cross traffic with the legal right of way, or I can’t be sure), I do stop. I wait until that traffic is clear and the road is empty.

    When I am sure that there is no oncoming traffic [remember, I don’t want anyone to have to apply their brakes] I go through the intersection. Basically I treat it as a stop sign, but one I will roll through if it is clear to me that there is no oncoming traffic. (It’s Iowa law — obviously there is a valid difference of opinion here. Check the German towns with no traffic regulations at all. That’s what makes sense to do. It’s the rules that are dumb. Stop treating me as if I’m a car, because I’m not. Wouldn’t you walk across that street?)
    I will never be in your way if you have right of way.

    Yes, yes, I can hear you sputtering from here.
    Yes, I am breaking the law. duh.
    If I get a ticket, I’ll pay it.
    I do this not because I am in a hurry, or because I feel entitled.
    I do it because it is the SAFEST THING FOR ME TO DO!
    Every second on the road on the other side of a red light is a second when I am riding on a road with fewer, or even *no* cars.
    That’s as safe as it gets.
    Any car that encounters me will approach me from behind, as close to being forced to see me as I can hope.
    I won’t be in anyone’s blind spot.
    I won’t get doored, or right hooked, or left hooked as described above or any of the horrible things that can happen to cyclists when they share the road with cars.
    Why aren’t you all just as outraged about jaywalkers? Like none of you have ever jaywalked.

    I ride to stay safe, and to go from A to B, not to follow the rules. Rules are a means not an end.
    Most of the time, following the rules is the best way to stay safe, but sometimes it is not.
    And don’t give me any of that “following the rules is always the safest way to ride”.
    It’s not, obviously. I’ve only ever been injured when following the rules.
    The safest way to ride is to assume I might be hit at any moment, and that every car on the road doesn’t know I am there.

    You give me my own lane, *physically inaccessible to cars*, and I will be glad to follow the traffic rules for that lane.
    You guarantee no car will ever break the traffic rules, and I’ll always follow them.
    Until then, I am going to do my best to stay safe, whatever it takes.
    If I actually endanger anyone, if anyone is forced to change their momentum because of me, feel free to shout at me.
    Otherwise, stay alert, check your mirrors, and use your damn turn signals when you turn or change lanes.

  106. No surprises here from the “drivers good, cyclists bad” front
    Arguing for cyclists’ rights against self-satisfied drivers is shouting at the universe.

    a nine-year old from 2003 and a drunk cyclist?
    Is that really the best you people can do?

    accidents caused by cyclists are newsworthy because they are very rare.

    there were over 33000 motor vehicle-related deaths in 2009.
    630 of them cyclists.
    I think your righteous anger is misplaced

  107. With respect to all of you, because it seems to me you’re all arguing legitimately from your experience:

    I’ve ridden in Australia, which sounds pretty much like the US from the comments above, and in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Yogyakarta. It’s a very different experience in each of those places.

    Amsterdam is the most fun, because it’s set up to make commuting by bike easy. Cyclists go much slower when they’re in a dedicated lane with 100 other cyclists, too. They rarely do anything foolhardy, because they can get where they’re going without having to.

    Yogyakarta was ok too, because even though there’s no bike lanes, the dominant form of transport is low-powered little motorbikes, and everyone’s used to swerving gently around slower vehicles. They have a relaxed attitude to traffic in general, there, it seems to me. Most folks go along at their own pace and aren’t devastated by interruptions.

    In Australia, where cyclists largely have to fit into the gaps at the side of car lanes, I find drivers make me nervous when I’m on a bike, and cyclists make me nervous when I’m driving a care. Here in Melbourne we have lots of bike lanes, which is great, but when there isn’t one drivers get a bit annoyed that you’re on the road. Sometimes there’s nowhere else though!

    When I drive I get seduced by car logic. I expect to be able to travel in a straight line without any kind of interruption, and anything which interrupts that seems a bit outrageous.

    When I ride, I get seduced by bike logic, and the need to exploit temporary gaps for safety, like Hollando said above.

    I’m sure most of you people aren’t arseholes, whether you drive or ride. It’s just that climbing into a different mode of transport makes you relate to space differently. Even though I try, I find it hard to remember how cyclists think when I get behind the wheel of a car.

  108. The problem with this card (beyond the passive aggressive, holier than thou attitude) is the fact that drivers are being placed directly to blame for the cyclist/car driver conflict.

    If you look at basic urban planning, you realize this is all ultimately under the control of local and higher governments. It’s not an easy nut to crack, but pedestrians and cars don’t get near the level of conflict that cyclists and cars do. And that’s because someone planned this out.

    Having some clearly defined division beyond painted lines on the street is a way to solve this in my mind. But it’s easier said than done.

    And for the record, the amount of times I (as a pedestrian) have almost been hit by a bike in NYC in the past 10 years is about 10. Cars? Maybe 1 at most.

  109. I don’t think this sort of thing grants any greater berth to people that self-propel to work, but something has to be communicated, especially when you’re straddling a getaway vehicle and your helmet’s already on super snug.

    The unsafe drivers I’ve traveled with usually turn out to be just very unskilled drivers. It’s only assumed the one zooming by actually has something streamlined going on upstairs. For a few I’ve known, remaining safely on the road is only possible when concentrating intensely and avoiding roads with people on them. Pointing out a bad driver’s inadequacy and lack of concern after the fact only surprises them that you didn’t just assume they were a completely inept driver to begin with. It may touch them, though, to realize you thought they would take you seriously.

    Gluing little crossed-out pedestrian silhouettes to the rear of their car like ticked off notches on a belt might make them laugh about the situations caused by their terrible driving, but at least they won’t be laughing at the snarky yellow magnet you reached over your multi-colored Beach Cruiser to temporarily stick to the side of their Mercedes.

  110. I’m in a wheelchair — a magnet like this is a great replacement for the “yellow stickies” I leave on the windows of those fools who:

    *. Park so close I can’t deploy my ramp from within a handicapped parking space
    *. Park over the line and into a handicapped space, making the space unusable for a ramp van
    *. Park in a handicapped space without a placard

    When I have time to wait, I do call the local police. They are awesome in their support!!! Sometimes, though, I just don’t have the additional time to lose….and that’s when a magnet like this would be a tremendous, non-violent, quick solution for the current “yellow stickies”.

    Woooohooooo……off to get some nice blue and white magnets printed up tomorrow!!! Put a little wheelchair logo on there, along with a polite, educational message. Sort of a diplomatic version of “you friggin’ jerk!!!!!!”.


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